Photo by Beatrix Bakes
Make Pecan and Peach Rugelach with Beatrix Bakes
By Co-lab Pantry
Natalie Paull, the master of cake-making, queen of Queensberry street, North Melbourne brings together both the science and art of baking in equal measure. If you're a cake-lover, then you should have heard of Beatrix Bakes, and if you haven't, well you've got some catching up to do, with pleasure.
Natalie Paul shares one of her recipes from her book Beatrix Bakes, how very kind. Get your apron on, and get baking!
Pecan and Peach Rugelach:
Takes If the lekvar has been made, then about 45 minutes to make the dough, fill and roll. Ideally, rest overnight and bake the next day, but 1 hour rest can be just enough.
Keeps Best eaten while still a little warm. The unbaked filled roll keeps for 3 days refrigerated.
Pronounced ru-ge-lah (make the end a little breathy), these are flaky cream cheese pastry swirls filled with dried fruit jam, cinnamon-toasted pecans, and prunes. The recipe originates in the beautiful and bountiful Ashkenazi Jewish food culture. The name means ‘little twist’, referring to the traditional method of rolling them into croissant shapes, but I like to roll the pastry into a log and then cut it into slices. I first saw this log version in Baking with Julia, by Lauren Groveman, and knew that they were totally up my old-fashioned dried fruit and spice alley. Take care not to overcook them – the slightly doughy centre is such a moist and fruity blessing.
Makes 10 individual Rugelach
- 1 × batch Cream cheese dough (page 54)
- 90 g (3 oz) raw pecans
- 100 g (3½ oz) light muscovado (or light brown) sugar
- 10 g (¼ oz) caster (superfine) sugar
- 5 g (⅛ oz/21/2 teaspoons) freshly ground cinnamon
- 1/3 × batch (about 200 g/7 oz) Ver-juicy dried fruit – lekvar Adaptrix with dried peach (page 213)
- 100 g (3½ oz) plump, pitted prunes
- Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F). To make the filling, put the pecans on a baking tray and toast in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until brown all the way through. When cool, transfer to a bowl with the muscovado sugar, caster sugar and cinnamon. Mix with your hands, crushing the nuts as you mix. Roll out the Cream cheese dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 25 cm × 35 cm (10 in × 14 in) rectangle, about 1 cm (½ in) thick. Push the pin against the side of the dough to maintain the rectangle’s straight sides. I recommend working on the 25 cm (10 in) width before rolling it out to the 35 cm (14 in) length. Tear off a piece of plastic wrap slightly larger than the dough and place it on the work surface. Place the dough on the plastic, with the longest side of the dough closest to you. Spread the dried fruit jam (lekvar) over the dough as evenly as possible. Sprinkle two-thirds of the cinnamon-sugar pecans over the top, then strew the prunes over. Leave a 2.5 cm (1 in) strip at the top of the sheet without nuts or prunes, so the jam can act as a ‘glue’ to seal the roll – like the sticky flap on an envelope. After you have made this once, you can get free and loose with the amounts and ratios of the fillings. You might like more lekvar and less prunes. Just be mindful of overstuffing.
- Start rolling by using your fingers to tightly turn and tuck the pastry up and over and around. Make sure you tuck it tightly at the start of the roll or you’ll get a large air pocket in the middle of the roll. Relax the tightness a little after the first two rotations, and continue to lift and roll until you have formed a long log. Finish the roll with the seam on the underside. Use a flat palm and assertively tap the ends, one at a time, to flatten them. Wrap the plastic around the log and chill for 1 hour.
- Don’t roll the log too tightly after the first two rotations, as it will expand when baking and the pastry will burst.
- Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F). Line a heavy baking tray with baking paper. With a serrated knife, cut the log into ten slices, about 3.5 cm (1½ in) thick – any thicker and they will bake poorly. Toss each slice in the remaining cinnamon-sugar pecans to coat well. Place on the prepared tray, leaving ample room around each piece. Bake for 20 minutes until the dough is set and puffy looking and the underside is brown. Remove from the oven and use a spatula to carefully flip/roll the rugelach over. Return to the oven and bake for a further 15 minutes until golden brown. Watch the browning, as the high sugar content of the dried fruit jam and the brown sugar can accelerate burning.* It’s nice if they under-bake a little, so the centre stays moist and doughy.
- If the first one you flip falls apart during this process, don’t flip the rest. Return the tray to the oven for a further 5 minutes and then try again. If the tails crack away, just nestle the cracked side up against one of its neighbouring rugelach and it will hold the broken pastry in place during the rest of the bake.
Get the cookbook, Beatrix Bakes online.